Animating an Interface

wdcoverFrom Web Designer Magazine, August 2004

Displaying an interface at runtime using motion graphics code to animate the elements in to place.

One of the best things about Flash is the fact that it allows for interfaces to be created in a very short period of time. We can easily open Flash, drop a few elements on to the stage, and voila, our interface is ready. In today’s Internet, however, that’s simply not enough. Visitors have come to expect dynamism; they want things to move, fly and zip into place. Traditionally, this would be accomplished by carefully animating the interface on a timeline with dozens of keyframes.
However, that’s not the only way (nor is it the best way). Thanks to the scripting power of Flash’s language Actionscript, we can create dynamic websites with fully animated interfaces with only a few lines of code, and some very simple motion graphics programming.

Think of a website where you arrive, and interface elements begin flying in from off-screen, coming from all different locations only to settle neatly into position. Once in position, they create a cohesive whole to the entire interface. In this tutorial, we’ll be looking at how to create such an interface, and how to integrate Actionscript to create robust motion graphics effects.

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